Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Space Race.

Memories can be fuzzy things.  Especially, when the event happened so long ago.  There are those certain things that are as clear as the day they happened.  I have tracked my early memories based on the events of history.  One of these early memories took place when I was 4 years old.

It is significant because I shared that moment with my Dad. His excitement was a key to the memory..the event added to it.  A man, Alan B. Shepard, was about to be launched into space.  I remember the blurry image on a small black and white T.V.  I was bitten by the space bug.

I didn't just watch it on television, I played with it in the backyard.  My Dad helped me launch our first rocket.  It was a baking soda and vinegar rocket. I marveled as it buzzed to untold heights.  In fact, it probably only flew 20 feet, but it was amazing.

I remember listening to the beeps and tweets of passing satellites on a radio my Dad had built. I had no idea what it was saying, I just knew it was talking to me from space.  I watched every flight of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions.  I hung on every update, and imagined myself up there with them.

My Dad had a Ford Ltd Station Wagon. The one with the flip up seat in the back.  I would climb into that seat and imagine I was docking to the Lunar Excursion Module, as my Dad hooked up the old Cox tent camper.

I drank Tang because that is what Astronauts drank. I ate those disgusting breakfast sticks, because that is what Astronauts ate.

When I got older my Dad, Brother, and I would build better models using solid fuel engines.  These rockets would take off quickly and fly as high as a few thousand feet.  We worked at making our recovery systems better by cutting holes in the parachutes. We built our own launch pads with plywood, wire coat hangers, and 6 volt flashlight batteries. Each of us would build our own rockets then fire them as a family.

There were four rockets that I was most proud of.  The first was my attempt at multi stage rockets...the Black Widow was a two stage rocket that could reach 2000 feet.  It took me several attempts to get the second stage to light correctly...when it finally did it was attacked by a crow and destroyed during the recovery stage.

The second was a glider recovered rocket.  I painted it a super ugly dark blue.  During its maiden flight it disintegrated shortly after clearing the launch pad...too much engine...not enough rocket was to blame.  After some technical adjustments it flew well, sadly during recovery it landed high in an elm tree.  The tree, with the help of the wind destroyed it beyond recognition.

The third was the Eggscrambler. It had a clear payload area that could take and egg or other small creatures for a flight.  Its also introduced multiple engines in a single stage.  The trick was getting all three engines to fire at the same time.  We tried connecting them in parallel and in series circuits...upping the power to a 12 volt car battery.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.  As you might imagine we were happy when it worked, often amazed at the outcome when it didn't.

The fourth was the greatest challenge of all.  The Saturn V. This was a three foot tall, multi-engine, multi-stage rocket.  The First Stage consisted of 5 engines and the second stage consisted of 3 engines.  The rocket was a very detailed model, and because it was so heavy would only reach just a few hundred feet.

It took my Dad, Brother, and I weeks to complete the model.  Many of our early launch attempts were complete failures with only 1 or 2 of the engines lighting. We had tried launching that rocket so many times, that my brother and I never expected it to fly.

One day my Dad said he had an idea to get it off the ground.  Unfortunately, I had a very bad cold and my Mom would not allow me outside.  So I watched as my Dad set the rocket up in the field across the road.  We always followed the same launch procedure.

10.  Check to see that there are no low flying aircraft in the area.
9. Check the to insure that all batteries are connected and working.
8. Check the wind to make sure you are not down range of the rocket when it clears the guide wire.
7. Check for people down range.
6. Check for birds
5. Check again for aircraft.
4.
3.
2. Energize the batteries.
1. Ignite the engines.

The engines lit..all of them..and the white smoke they generated quickly became a huge cloud.  The rocket began to move!

At first it was very slow..too slow from what I could tell.  It cleared the guide wire and hovered for a moment..then...the second stage ignited..just a bit early. The shock of the second stage igniting blew the the recovery system out and the parachutes deployed.

For the next few seconds my Dad and that rocket were locked in a death dance.  It chasing him..and in the confusion...him chasing it. When it was all done, the second stage had suffered severe damage.  The rocket sat as a nice looking charred model for a few months, before being relegated to the bone yard.

When I was about 12 or so we took the trip of a lifetime..for me anyway.  My uncle was stationed at MacDill  Air Force Base...and we were going to take a trip to visit him. Along the way we visited my other Uncle who worked at Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia.  That is where I saw my first C-130.  An aircraft I would become familiar with in another post.

The trip to Florida would not be wasted..we saw St. Augustine, Daytona, and my nirvana...Kennedy Space Center.  I know I must have walked around with my mouth agape...seeing the Saturn V transporter, the building where everything was put together, the history, and the sadness of the pad in which Grissom, White, and Chaffe died. We would later visit Disney Land, but I barely remember that.  Kennedy Space Center...how could you beat that?

I have followed every space mission since I was a child...As an Adult stationed at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico I was fascinated by the stories that a physicist there told me about his contribution to space flight.  Later, after receiving my degree in computers, one of my first customers was a classmate of the Rocket Boys in West Virginia.  He had to force me to take his money.  His stories were always fascinating.

The space program has contributed untold advancements in engineering, medicine, energy, and management.  I am very saddened at the possible loss of this marvelous addition to the education of America. I am hopeful that this is but a brief pause. Our space program is a National Treasure that must be preserved.

I would like to say thanks to Space Coast Conservative[dot]com for inspiring me to tell this story.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Statistics 101 for the Common Man



"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable."
Mark Twain.

There is nothing more misused and misunderstood than statistics. I include myself in this, and I am trained to analyze data and create statistics to tell a story.  I hope to be able to help you understand how statistics work, and how to make your own statistics.

Statistics depend on two very important things...DATA..and the QUESTION. In fact Data, and the Question work with each other in developing the story you want to tell.  We will jump right in to developing our statistical data.

SITUATION: You have been hired by a High School Football Team to develop a database of the members of their football team. At first all they want to know is the name of each player, their position, Grade Level and Grade Point Average.

Your Database looks like this.

    PlayerName
    Position
    GradeLevel
    GPA

The school makes things easy for you...they only have 30 players.

THE QUESTION: The School asks you to create a report that shows the GPA for each player.  They make it easy...1.0 is a D...2.0 is a C...3.0 is a B..and 4.0 is an A.  No fractions.

THE STORY: You run a report that shows 10 players have a 4.0...10 players have a 3.0...and 10 players have a 2.0.

THE NEXT MORNING

You open the local paper and see the Headline "Our Football Players Are The Smartest!"  The report accurately describes your data and says that "33.33% of our players are A students".  The article goes on to say that only 25% of your rivals players are A students.  

You tell the teams coach how proud you are.  That is when the coach bursts your bubble. He tells you that the other team has 100 players..25 had A's, 50 Had B's, and 25 had C's. So in reality 75% of the other team is a B or above student, and only 66.66% of our team is B or better.

DATA MANIPULATION

The Coach is feeling the heat from the Principle.  The team, according to the Principle is lagging academically. He wants more students rated at B or better. They decide to add fractions to the GPA. An A is still 4.0, but they want you to round up all B's that are 3.6 or better, and all C's that are 2.6.  If a student has a 2.6GPA it will become a B. 

Data Manipulation is one way to change the story without changing the players.  It is easier than making kids smarter. Lets see how that has changed your report

Data Report:
  Total Players: 30
   GPA>=3.6 =A
   GPA>=2.6 =B
   GPA>=1.6 =C
   GPA>=0.6 =D

  10 Players have a 4.0, 10 Players have a 3.6, 5 players have a 2.6, and 5 have a 1.6. 

  This gives you 25 players, or 83.33% with a B or better.

Overnight you have made kids smarter..and didn't do anything "wrong".  Of course 5 are still in the box of rocks category. 

THE ARGUMENT BEGINS.

Your rival school says you manipulated the data to create a false story.  Your Principle counters that we are "better defining" the academic level of the kids.  Technically both statements are true.  Academically your kids are still the same as they were, but you have better defined, through the use of fractions, how you rate that performance. 

WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED.

You have learned how to build a simple database.  Keep in mind DATA is very important..and you will learn how important in the next lesson.

You have learned how to manipulate data by changing how you define it. Data manipulation is very important when telling your story. 

Finally you have learned how to build the story with the results you want.

You are well on your way to being a professional statistician. In the next lesson you will learn advanced Statistics for Demographics.

Enjoy.







Friday, November 19, 2010

For What Its Worth.

There's something happenin' here...what it is ain't exactly clear.
(Buffalo Springfield, "For What Its Worth" )



On a distant hill in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1994 a new brand of warfare began.  It was not heralded in the major news papers...it was not flashed on television screens, it was not heard on the radio.  Instead, with the click of a button news of an uprising of indigenous Mexicans was reported to the world by a small and unlikely source. 

File:SubMarcosHorse.jpg
Subcomandante Marcos
Subcomandante Marcos is the spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.  This small group of Marxists were able to report their philosophy, victories, and request support from people around the world.  Although they were not victorious in the sense of typical battles, they were successful in the media campaign. As a postmodern warrior Marcos understood the role that the Internet could play.

Today, Military forces around the world have dedicated billions of dollars, and thousands of personnel to wage the Information Wars. Every day tens of thousands of individuals fire off their thoughts in blogs, and websites.  The first victim of this war has been journalism.

Journalists, those people who attended school to be a journalist, find themselves competing with housewives, carpenters, and ditch diggers.  It is a battle they are quickly losing. News papers are finding it increasingly difficult to do battle with the multitude of opinions and part time analysts. By the time you get your paper in the morning it is old news. It has already been analyzed by thousands and sent on its way via twitter, Facebook, and blogs. 

In the old days reporters would scramble to phone in their reports...they wanted to be the first to report on important events.  There is the problem that both the reporter, and the blogger have.  They report what they are told...they may stop for a moment to consider the truth of the information, but they are on a very tight schedule to be the first.

Politics is not a game of tic-tac-toe.  If it were we would all be very good at it. Most bloggers, and many reporters are checker players.  They are good at jumping each other, thinking a move or two ahead, but not up to the task of the game of politics.  

Politics is a game of chess played on multiple boards, all at the same time, while blind folded.  The days of analyzing the information you have are over.  You must also determine why you have that information.  Where the information came from.  How important that information is, and the motives behind it.  How can your opponent use that information, and did they anticipate your reaction to the information?

I know for a fact that there a very powerful people using their money and power in an attempt to affect the course of this nation.  That has been the point of politics since the first cavemen selected a chief. Money does not elect a single person to office.  If that were the case Meg Whitman would be on her way to Congress.  

Information rules!  Do not be tricked into wasting information space by attacking the paper dragon.  The issues that face this nation is where the battleground is, Not who the fighters might be. I hesitate to give out too much information...no need to help the other side out.  But it is important that in this fight, as in war, hold close to your enemy.  Do Not let them create diversions.  

Stop Children, what's that sound?  Everybody look what's goin' down.

Revisiting the American Situation

Prologue. 

When I graduated from high school the last thing on my mind was higher learning.  No, I yearned for adventure.  So, I joined the Air Force.  I had no idea that  learning would be a very important part of the adventure. Basic Training taught me more than just how to stand up, walk, and wear clothes properly.  It also taught me the importance of knowing what I was all about.

Nothing can teach you more about yourself, than learning about those that came before you.  Not just your family, but the people who inhabited the land you call home. Growing up I was surrounded by Clapps, Suttons, Ingles, Shepards, Williams, and Bennets.  A solid community of Scot/Irish and Lutheran Germans. 

My town is called the City of Roses.  The people there take their roses seriously.  They also take their pecan trees, walnuts, and huge magnolias just as seriously.  Religion is on every street corner. Politics is discussed in the barber shop, along with growing tomatoes, tobacco, and squash. 

The people were proud that Andrew Jackson had practiced law just outside of town; the fact that William Sidney Porter (O'Henry) lived just up the road; Meriwether Lewis had passed close by on his way to visit his mother, and the Last Capital of the Confederacy was just 15 miles away.  They were keenly aware that Alex Haley's (author of Roots) family had been slaves in the area and visited the Company Shops in Burlington.  They were proud of the young men who staged the sit in at the Woolworth's up the road.  The history of the town is contained in its cemeteries etched on the tombstones dating back to the late 1600's.   With all of this surrounding me, it is no wonder that History is my passion.

I do not study history just for the nostalgia of a bygone era.  History describes our present, and predicts our possible future.  We just need to pay attention.  When reading this article, think about the implications this has on us today, and what it may mean for our future.

The following story took place about 10 miles from my doorstep.  It involves some of the major players of the era, and the funny thing is..they had no idea it was coming. 




Ask any school kid when the American Revolution began and they will almost always answer, July 4th 1776.  The smart kids know this is wrong.
From a political stand point the American Revolutionary Period began with the end of the French Indian War in 1763. This is when the Crown decided that the Colonials needed to pay a larger share of the cost of that war. This led to a number of Acts that imposed taxes and regulations that did not sit well with the Colonials.blog post photo
From a military standpoint the American Revolutionary War, or The War For Independence began in 1775. In April of 1775 Colonial Militia fired on British Troops at Lexington in Massachusetts. This is often reported as the first shots of the American Revolution. Is this true?
From 1763 to 1768 minor clashes took place in the Colony of North Carolina. The issue was more than just unfair taxes. It was also with corrupt tax collectors and government officials. These officials often pocketed much of the tax money, and then declared that the people had never paid their taxes.
The people were being taxed on their crops when they were harvested, taxed when they were sold, and then taxed when they purchased items.
The colony was divided east from west. The eastern portion of the colony was considered the wealthy and “connected” people. They enjoyed freedom from many of the taxes that were being levied.
The western portion of the colony was the frontier. Life was hard as it was and the taxes made things even worse. To add insult
blog post photo
to the whole affair Governor William Tryon had a palace built that would rival many in England. Not surprisingly the colonists in the west were not happy.
In 1768, the western colonists formed a Regulator Association. The Regulators were not opposed to the Government of England, but they were opposed to the structure and fairness of the local government.
In 1771, Governor Tryon gathered a Militia of 1000 men, with plans of gathering more troops from loyalists in Regulator territory. He overestimated his support in the backcountry.
Although the Regulators were active in many counties in the west, the key territory was Orange County. Regulators who disrupted court, and beat many officials, running them out of town, had besieged the County seat, Hillsborough. Out of a population of about 8000 backwoodsmen, 6000 were supporters of the Regulators.
A standing militia of 254 men bringing the total size of his Army to 1254 joined Tryon’s force. He split his force into two units. The standing militia would approach Hillsborough via Salisbury. Tryon would take a direct route to Hillsborough.
Upon approaching Hillsborough the Standing Militia was confronted by a large group of Regulator’s numbering 2000. The Militia withdrew back toward New Bern. No shots were fired. The Regulator’s hoped that a large show of force would convince Tryon to withdraw as well.
Tryon located the Regulator force near Alamance Creek. Tryon ordered the Regulators to lay down their arms and sign an oath of allegiance. He gave them one hour to do so. The Regulators still were hopeful that their overwhelming numbers would convince Tryon to withdraw.
At the end of the hour Tryon ordered his force to fire on the Regulators. Tryon’s force hesitated. Standing up in his stirrups Tryon yelled “Either fire on them, or Fire on me”! The Battle of Alamance was on.
blog post photo
The battle was very short. The Regulator’s, though strong in numbers, lacked any leadership and were quickly driven from the field.
Nine of the Kings Militia was killed and 61 wounded. Many more Regulators were killed and 15 were captured, seven of these were later hung in Hillsborough. Tryon continued through Regulator territory and forced them to sign Loyalty Oaths.
The rebellion was crushed, but some important lessons were learned. Patriots employed the methods by which armed resistance could be used against the Crown just a few short years later in The American War for Independence.
As fate would have it, Governor Tryon was given the Governorship of New York and would face a whole new rebellion, a rebellion that he could not destroy.
Was Lexington the first shot of The American War for Independence? Historians argue that point. What do you think?
P.S. An interesting addition to this Story is Henry Husband. A Quaker, he led the call for the regulation of tax laws in the Carolina Colony. Later he was the leader of the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ear Marks...The Tea Party takes on the Republican Dissenters.

FACTS.

1. Earmarks are a small part of the federal budget.

2. Politicians are addicted to earmarks.

3. Earmarks are used as a tool to control our representatives.

4. Earmarks though not large in comparison does not mean they are inconsequential. Fiscal responsibility means everything must pass the cost/benefit test.  Earmarks provide no benefit.

5. Although many representatives were elected in past years based on their promise to eliminate earmarks, none have done so.

6. There are Conservatives opposed to the ban on earmarks. 

ACTION

1. Remind the newly appointed representatives that although the election is over, we have not stopped watching.

2. Call your representative and find out how they plan to vote on this important bill. If they are going to oppose it, remind them of Nov 2nd 2010.

3. Call the following senators and remind them of who they represent.

Mitch McConnell (KY)

(202) 224-2541

Jim Inhofe (OK) 
(202) 224-4721    

Lindsey GrahamSC) 
(202) 224-5972


Lamar Alexander (TN) 
(202) 224-4944

Jon Kyl (AZ)
(202) 224-4521

John Barrasso (WY)
(202) 224-6441

John Thune (SD)
(202) 224-2321




Teufel Hunden

Teufel Hunden
By
CaptBlackEagle

            With Veteran’s Day fast approaching I have always felt that something should be said for those that came before us.  In our modern world we often get bogged down with the politics of war and fail to remember the sacrifice, dedication, and patriotism expressed by those who go to war on our behalf.  The right and wrong of a war can be argued.  But the shear bravery, audacity, creativity, and selflessness of those who fight reflects honor on our country, and sends a message to our foes.  Don’t Tread on us.

          This story is the story of the United States Marine Corps.

            The U.S. 2nd and 3rd Divisions had been dispatched at the request of the French, by General John “Black Jack” Pershing to defend the area around the city of Chateau-Thierry. The divisions fell under command of the French XXI Corps.  This meant that although the American divisions were part of the American Expeditionary Force, they would receive and follow the orders of the French.

            The need for these units was based on a thrust by the German Army Group Crown Prince toward Paris.  The German Army Group had dispatched the 237th Division, 10thDivision and later reinforcements from the 197th, 87th, and 28th Divisions to take and occupy the Chateau-Thierry area.

On the first of June 1918, Marine Captain Lloyd Williams began to dig in along with the rest of second division near the town of Lucy-le-Bocage.  When advised to withdraw he said, “Retreat Hell, we just got here!”   The whole move had been a mess, given the emergency of moving a whole division to counter the German thrust.  However, the Marines quickly turned disorder into order.  Soon they were demonstrating to the Germans the damage American marksmanship can provide. 

On the 2nd and 3rd of June the German 237th Division Occupied Belleau Wood.

On the 4th the Germans launch an attack at a place called Les Mares Farm.  The 2ndBattalion, 5th Marines defend the farm.  The Germans ran head long into well-prepared positions.  Marine machinegun, and artillery tear into the assault and turn it back.  This is the closest the Germans will ever get to Paris, just 50 miles away.

On the 5th the French commander orders the 2nd Division to recapture Belleau Wood.  The 4th Marine Brigade is tasked to recapture the wood.  According to the French the Germans only occupy a small corner of the wood.

On the 6th of June the Marines launch their attacks.  The first attack comes at 0500 to capture hill 142.  With this hill the Marines can support the main attack on the wood. Despite some tense moments this attack is successful.

At 1700 hours the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments frontally assault the wood.  To get there they must cross a wheat field.  The wheat field is well covered by German machineguns.  Gunnery Sgt Dan Daly yells, “come on you son of a bitches, you want to live forever?”  The attack is a near disaster.

The 3rd Battalion 5th Marines are decimated and the 3rd Battalion 6th Marines barely make it into the woods.  In addition to the attack on the wood, the 4th Brigade was ordered to take a railroad station just outside of the town of Bouresches.  The station is heavily defended and the attack fails.  The action on this day results in the most casualties suffered by the Marines in a single day, 1087 men.

From the 7th to the 15th of June the Marines engage in the back and forth of trench warfare.  They endure bombardment and gas attacks.

On The 16th of June the 3rd Divisions Army units relive the Marines.

On the 22nd of June the Marines reenter the battle relieving the Army units.  The French continue to order the woods be taken.

On the 23rd of June the Marines launch an assault that makes very little headway, but results in terrible casualties. Two hundred ambulances are needed to remove the wounded.

On the 25th of June the French finally bring in enough guns to reduce the woods to firewood.  After a 14-hour bombardment the Marines capture the wood.

On the 26th of June Major Maurice Shearer sends the signal “Woods now entirely-U.S. Marine Corps.”

Legend has it that a German dispatch to headquarters described the newly arrived American forces as fighting like “Tuefel Hunden” or “Hounds from Hell.”  This is the origin of the term “Devil Dogs”, a common term of endearment and honor for the Marines.

The result of the action at Belleau Wood demonstrated to the Germans that the Americans were here to fight.  The overall action resulted in the German advance being stopped.

Total casualties 9,777

Medal of Honor awards: Gunnery Sgt E.A. Janson, Lt. JG. Weedon Osborne (a street in Bouresches is named for him), Lt. Orlando Perry, and Gunnery Sgt. F. Stockham.

Excerpt of a Citation from the French Government.

During these operations [of early June], thanks to the brilliant courage, vigour, dash, and tenacity of its men, who refused to be disheartened by fatigue or losses; thanks to the activity and energy of the officers, and thanks to the personal action of Brig. Gen. Harbord, the efforts of the brigade were crowned with success, realizing after twelve days of incessant struggle an important advance over the most difficult of terrain and the capture of two support points of the highest importance, Bouresches village and the fortified wood of Belleau.”

In French, Belleau Wood is Bois de Belleau.  At the end of the battle the French renamed it to “Bois de la Brigade de Marine.”

Salute to the “Devil Dogs.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Build a Strawman.

The Logical Fallacy of the Strawman.

As a recruit into the military we used paper targets to represent the enemy.  The problem with this is, those paper targets never moved...or shot back.  It was in fact a Fallacy to call these targets representations of the enemy.  A better description is one my football coach used to use...he called people who went full speed against the tackle dummy, but held back in a real game..."Dummy Tackle All Americans".  

The first step in building a Strawman in an argument is to build a false representation of your opponent and avoid the actual argument.  . For instance, "The Republican electoral resurgence – like Ronald Reagan’s original coalition – combines collaborative but often contradictory forces, from anti-government Tea Partiers and libertarians to corporatists who feast on government contracts and Christian nationalists who want government-imposed “morality.”(1)  Let's take this statement apart and describe just two of the  Strawmen.

The first Strawman: "The Republican electoral resurgence..." is an argument all unto itself.  Although the Republicans did indeed have the greatest gain in seats in the House, they did not capture the Senate.  The statement assumes the resurgence is of Republicans versus Conservative thinking.  As you can see it avoids the argument.

The second Strawman: "....like Ronald Reagan’s original coalition – combines collaborative but often contradictory forces, from anti-government Tea Partiers and libertarians to corporatists..." quite a mouthful.  Is the argument that Reagan had a coalition, a coalition of Tea Partiers (I don't think they existed), Libertarians, and Corporatists?  Is the argument that the Tea Party is anti-government? Are Libertarians anti-government...what about Corporatists?  

How does someone use the Strawman?  By creating a false representation of your opponents postion, and then refuting it...it appears that by refuting the false representation you refute all of the actual representations of your opponent. In fact, you are creating a "Dummy Tackle"..and you are a "Dummy Tackle All American". 

Sadly, by using the Strawman the writer loses the argument at the onset, making all of their statements in support of the Strawman worthless.

Footnote: (1) Taken from Florida Today as quoted by RonnieRaygun from an article by Rev Howard Bess. No link to the original article was provided. 


Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Live Right Here.

I was born in the small town of Gibsonville, North Carolina. I do not recall being asked by God if that is where I would like to live, or for that matter, if my parents were the ones I wanted.  The decision was not mine.  I will say that the time, the place, and the parents of my birth were the perfect choices. I can say this because I have lived and traveled to many places on this planet....most not of my choosing.

My ancestors arrived in this country in the late 1600's to early 1700's.  They were Scots and Irish.  Shortly after arriving they migrated from Virgina to North Carolina.  They were welcomed by the Germans living in that area.  For hundreds of years only a few people in my family have lived more than a few miles from where they were born. I am one of those few.

The military sent me on an odyssey around the world.  I have lived in Germany, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Montana. I have spent extended periods of time in many other places.  I love all of the places the military sent me.  Each has taught me far more than I could have ever learned by reading a book, or watching a documentary.  The people that I have met, and observed taught me much about myself..and the world.

In each of these places you hear..."You are were not born here.."...normally followed by some statement of what I can't understand because I was not born there.

It was not until I retired from the Military that I had a chance to pick where I would like to live.  I actually had a list...and Florida was on the list.  However, I selected Montana.  I lived, worked, and played with Montanan's for 14 years and love that state for all that it offers.  Then circumstances gave me the opportunity to choose where I would like to live once again...so after a short visit to the place of my birth I arrived in Florida.

Remember I said my Family is mostly Scot-Irish?  We are what you call "Old Irish"...when the New Irish began arriving in the new world during the 19th century they met many hardships.  Discrimination was chief among those...the ones who were really bad about discrimination were the "Old Irish".  After all the New Irish owed their allegiance to Ireland...they were not born here...they could not understand what it was like to be a Natural Born American.  Wow...were we wrong.

Today...many people use the "We were Born here" as a prelude to some a statement about loyalty..or an excuse for why something is not working the way we want.  I do not see a legal immigrant as a threat...but as an asset to this nation.  "We were Born here" is the worst sort of slur, since it bears no meaning when dealing with thinking.

If you have spent any time outside of your local area you realize that nothing is ever the way it was.  I thank God that the United States is not like it was in the 60's...or 70's.  I am most thankful that Disco Died!  We do change...it is the nature of the world.

The last election has nothing to do with "Not Born Here" usurpers. The next election will have nothing to do with "Not Born Here" interlopers.  Florida...Floridians...even those who are here by birth...versus those of us who made the choice to be here...are the ones that decided the election.

I feel the reasons for the last election results has been more eloquently stated by others than I ever could...but I do know...the Prejudice of those born here, toward those of us not born here is a dangerous path to take. Intelligent people seek out the actual causes of a result. Never should they bring up such discriminatory langauage as "We were born here...".  Intelligent people think before they speak...much less commit what they are thinking to the printed word.


I was not born here...It is where I have chosen to live.